This is a big deal that will probably continue to develop and play out over the next few days but several nations have announced they are cutting diplomatic ties and even air/land routes with Qatar citing concerns about terrorism.
Several Countries Cut Ties with Qatar
In what is sure to have some far reaching implications, several countries announced they are cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar “pointing to Doha’s ties to terrorism and the need to maintain national security“. Already this new fresh news has caused oil prices to jump and an already uncertain region to become more unsure, especially with a central US base in Qatar.
The countries that have cut ties with Qatar are Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
Here is what we know so far:
- Qatari diplomats are being removed from these countries, some given 48 hours to leave
- Nationals of these countries are being told not to go to Qatar
- Airspace, sea, and land points are going to be shut down with Qatar which could impact flights throughout the region for Qatar Airways since they routinely fly over airspace of these countries (especially Saudi Arabia)
- Etihad, Emirates, Flydubai and Saudia have all suspended service to Doha (some service may continue through the day and will end in the morning)
I would not be surprised to see this stretch to other airlines in the area impacted by these countries also.
Flying with Qatar or other airlines in the area?
Of course, the aviation angle is only a small part of this whole developing situation but it is something that we look at so it will be something to watch. Qatar Airways is a major player in the area and is state-owned. It will remain to be seen what Qatar’s response to these diplomatic changes and whether other countries join in this diplomatic shift.
If you have travel booked in this region in the coming weeks, make sure you keep an eye on the news and check your airline’s website. I have travel booked with Qatar but not for a while so it is not an immediate concern for me but still something I will be watching.
Featured image: By Francisco Anzola (Doha skyline in the morning) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons